Maria Malibran, Spanish opera singer, 1808-1836

Maria Felicia Malibran was a Spanish singer who commonly sang both contralto and soprano parts, and was one of the best-known opera singers of the 19th century. Malibran was known for her stormy personality and dramatic intensity, becoming a legendary figure after her death at age 28 after a fall from her horse. Contemporary accounts of her voice describe its range, power and flexibility as extraordinary. Malibran is most closely associated with the operas of Rossini, but also enjoyed great success in Bellini's operas. The Library of the Royal Conservatory of Brussels possesses an important collection of scores, documents and objects from the diva, assembled in the Maria Malibran fund.